Happiness is a term that describes a kind of feeling which may not be too easy to identify. In fact, it is being defined in different ways by different people. Dr. Brown (as cited in Forbes, 1850) defined as “a state of continued agreeable feeling, differing from what is commonly termed pleasure, only as a whole differs from a part. ” Likewise, Locke (as cited in Forbes, 1850) identifies happiness in a not so different way as “the utmost pleasure we are capable of; and the lowest degree of what can be called Happiness is so much ease from all pain, and so much present pleasure as without which any one cannot be content.”
In essence, happiness is a feeling of prolonged pleasure, no pain, no worries in mind. Work, on the other hand, is what people do to make a living. It may be running a business or working for an employer. One’s work is determined, most of the time, by personal decisions. That means, one can choose a job to apply for and to accept or maybe a business to run. But what brings the person to that choice? Many say that what mainly determines the job one takes is the paycheck. The bigger the salary being offered, the more likely it is to be chosen by the applicant.
However, those who are already in their prime years and have had a lot of work experience would have probably realized that it is not only the paycheck and salary that matters. An automotive parts production manager even stated that he only realized that he had wasted his life by taking jobs that paid better than most when he was already 55 (Karger and Aldrine, 2004).
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So, what then would be a good determinant in choosing the work or job we do? Nathanson (n. d. ) wrote in his article about how his dad took his own life because of depression after retiring from work.
Apparently, his dad has worked for 40 years in the bank which was what he loved to do the most. When he retired after those meaningful years in the corporate world, he only felt emptiness and longing for the fulfillment his work used to bring him. For this reason that he left his loved ones and shot himself dead. Nathanson’s (n. d. ) dad may have been really fulfilled with his job and even 40 long years are not enough to make him enjoy his retirement years. His dad may have had all the savings and retirement money he can use and enjoy yet he still cannot find the same happiness he used to have while he was still working.
The cases above may not be applicable for all but they just show that money is not the only factor that people should consider when taking a job or doing their work. A job that offers fat paycheck may be satisfying and encouraging enough but finding happiness at work should be the most important thing that a person should consider. There are a lot of things that make a person happy, be it money, work culture, environment, peers or nature of the job. But whatever it is that a person knows will make him happy at work, then he should be looking for that kind of work and not anything else.